Monday, October 07, 2013

Eleven Garfield Students Expelled

From My Northwest:

The Seattle School District has temporarily banned 11 students from Garfield High School while it investigates a widely publicized hazing incident that involved over 100 students. 

The "emergency expulsion" prohibits the 11 sophomores, juniors and seniors from campus and school activities during the investigation, said spokesperson Teresa Whipple. 

"We are working on an individual basis, so if a student is cleared, they can get back to school right away." 

Once the investigation is complete, officials will determine punishments. They could range from being prevented to taking part in prom or graduation to suspension or expulsion. In the interim, the students are still able to do their school work and communicate with their teachers from home.

I am still trying to get the police report from SPD but it is still unavailable.  Clearly, a serious issue.

63 comments:

Anonymous said...

Garfield, the jewel of Seattle! If these are the kids who are on track to run the casinos junking up our retirements on wall street, outsourcing our manufacturing businesses to death trap slave shops, making sure our Big Energy are never accountable ...

WhatMeWorry?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Wait a minute, WhatMeWorry. A little on the bombastic side, no?

Patrick said...

Expelled is temporary pending investigation? Back when I was in high school, that was suspended, and expelled meant forever.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I think suspensions are timed to a couple of days and they needed the time to investigate and didn't want the students at school.

Anonymous said...

"bombastic" to imply that Money = Justice?

I wish it weren't true. I suppose you and I differ on the frequency with which we believe Justice is for sale?

WhatMeAgain!

Anonymous said...

wonder how these students will get compensatory education?

Dunno

Jet City mom said...

Here too.
It also doesn't make sense to suspend students that we ultimately want to keep in school till graduation.
Why dont wr have provisions for spending two weeks in study hall, or in supervised ground maintenance?
I was suspended for three days in high school, after a sweep of the " smoking bathroom" & I never went back because after missing class for three days, I would never have been able to catch up.

Po3 said...

wonder how these students will get compensatory education?

If expelled, then they would have to go to another district and that district would be obligated to take the students or they could enroll in the Inter-agency program, I believe.

Anonymous said...

I know several of the kids. The kids I know are good kids who used bad judgment, and yes they need to accept the consequences for their actions. But please don't make them out to be the downfall of humanity, that's just ridiculous.

~Garfield Mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

WhatMeAgain, I'm unclear (sorry) on your point. Are you saying that the students who got expelled are poor and the ones who aren't didn't get expelled? You may know more on this than I do.

Dunno, the students, according to the article, will be able to access their schoolwork online.

It's not permanent expulsion; read the article. I personally think this is to send a message but until I see the police report, I don't know.

Anonymous said...

I just don't see an easy answer. I can't get on board with using these kids to send a message. I don't know these kids, my bar for writing off a 16 yo as a bad kid (rather than one who made a bad choice) is pretty high.

On the other hand it's really troublesome that the hazing issue has been persistent in spite of the pressure and rules and previous incidents.

Ugh.

Zb

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I went to a college where a kid died from a hazing style drinking initiation. Honestly, probably everyone here who went to college went to one where someone died from hazing and drinking. Sure, we students who "weren't involved" resented the crack down... but it certainly made us act safer, even as we did try to work around it. We weren't QUITE as crazy b/c of the real, believable threat of police action. We also had designated people who did not drink at all and could -- and did-- call a stop, b/c we were afraid of the legal and financial repercussions of hazing accidents. So to the extent kids say "everyone does it", I don't have much sympathy b/c I think of the kids who do die from hazing every year, and maybe if more people cracked down more often on hazing, the boy in the Florida A&M band would be alive. Girls beat him to death as hazing. If kids learn it's not okay in high school, they're more likely to be not-okay with hazing in college - which is the right direction. I'm sorry for the expulsions, temporary or not, but I think those kids knew perfectly well what they were getting into before they went to the park. After all, what - 1500 kids didn't go? It's not like those kids were forced to go there, or that they live there, or that it was part of a school activity. They went knowingly, before they had lost their judgment from alcohol. Clearly the vast, vast majority of Garfield kids didn't go, and didn't really fear being "not cool" for not doing something that was clearly off-limits. So while I feel sorry for those particular kids, and I don't like lifetime repercussions, I feel much, much worse for the band guy in Florida, who doesn't get to have a life at all. And I feel very proud of the vast majority of Garfield students who did not go to the park. They're the fine examples of Garfield, and they're most of the student body.

Since I have to repost this with a signature, I have an idea. Garfield can talk about froshing all it wants, but maybe they need to bring some parents who've lost a child in a hazing incident in to talk to the school instead, and invite all the parents of Garfield kids (b/c it sure seems like some of them are okay w/hazing too) to attend the assembly. Or maybe Ballard High School's award winning video team can do a piece on hazing deaths, and what they really mean, and why they really happen. Clearly whatever they're doing at Garfield is reaching most of the kids - at least enough to stop them from participating - but not deeply enough to make them get their friends to stop and to make hazing totally uncool.

Signed - Not cool.

Mary Griffin said...

Clearly I don't have all the facts, but I still don't get this.

My understanding of emergency expulsion means that school officials consider the student’s behavior to be a continuing danger to himself/herself or others. I don't see how a hazing incident represents a continuing danger.

The other thing I don't get is how something that occurred off school property and not as a result of a school-sponsored activity results in school discipline. Someone commented to me personally, well better the school handling this than the police. I don't know that the police aren't filing charges, so that doesn't make sense to me. Can someone else here explain this to me?

Anonymous said...

Mary, my Garfield teen has the same question -- off school property, not during the school day, and from the rumors, some things the kids are accused of didn't even happen out in public, but instead in someone's private home. I am NOT saying this excuses anything that happened, only that it's not clear what policy applies in discipling students at school for non-school activities. Anyone know?

~Garfield Mom

Mary Griffin said...

I don't know. But this seems like a perfect case for restorative justice http://nyti.ms/1bT1LEn or some other positive discipline practice rather than exclusionary discipline. It's weird that when the rubber hits the road, the district is relying on bad habits.

Anonymous said...

Mary, the WAC foe emergency expulsions also allows for students to be removed if administration believes their presence poses the potential of disruption to the educational environment. Parents can appeal, but I suspect the principal can articulate concerns of retaliation to other student witnesses (safety to others) and distruction of the educational environment (news vans parked on the front door, all of the time taken away from classes to deal with this etc).

Whipple is being disengenous about ten days though. The emergency expulsion cam last imdefindately if not overturned on appeal. Given that there is a concurrent police investigation, I would expect the emergency expulsions to remain in place until all investigations are complete.

Po3 is also wrong. School districts can and do honor expulsions from other districts. Even if these kids moved, if the emergency expulsion was still pending, the district they moved to would not have to take them. They can appeal (within ten school days of getting the notice) or theyc a apply for readmission, either to SPS or to another district. Readmissins in SPS usually mean a trip to interagency Academy for the rest of the semester.

-IMHO

Mary Griffin said...

I hardly thing that emergency expelling the students is going to get anything to calm down. It certainly isn't going to keep the news trucks away.

Principals can always articulate concerns about school disruption. That's a lame catch-all. Students are too-often getting suspended and expelled for "disruption."

Mary Griffin said...

Thanks, IMHO for the info.

Anonymous said...

The strong state laws against harassment, intimidation, and bullying require that the school address. They can discipline (an Emergency expulsion isn't considered disciplinary in nature, it is considered to be a safety measure) for off campus conduct that has a nexus to school. That could be planning at school or conduct occurring between school and a school sponsored event (homecoming) that may have an impact back at school (ie intending to come back drunk or high). And even if there isn't a nexus for discipline, the school still has to address HIB between students.

-IMHO

mirmac1 said...

Our school had a very recent assault/peer pressure/actionable incident not long ago. Immediately, the "friends" and "friends of friends" were talking about how the victim was responsible and the perpetrator was blameless/understandably provoked. His immediate suspension quickly squelched the idle and toxic chatter.

I'm glad my child's school took this incident seriously. And I do not think the perpetrator will do this again. Period.

Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with the emergency explusions (10 day appeal remains). Some of the students very well may realize their behavior was unacceptable and bad judgment as one Garfield parent noted. However, some students would definitely take advantage of their being on campus to intimidate students into reporting the hazing as "no big deal" and other ways of minimizing it for the sole benefit of the hazers and continued harassment of some of the hazers. Having come from a school with a history of hazing (I was fortunately there just after the era) and having a best friend's kid have to change schools 3 years ago (and thereby greatly diminish his education) as a result of bullying I have no issue with this approach.

Remember the AP from Ballard 10 years ago who reported harassment/unwanted advances by the then principal. She was moved instead of the principal - the perpetrators should be the ones expelled/transferred, not the victims.... be it kids or adults.

-Not amused

Melissa Westbrook said...

Again, this is why I want to see the police report. I think it may fill in some blanks.

As to whether this happened off-campus and where the jurisdiction is, good question. It could be both - school and police. I think Garfield felt it important to intervene when it learned this was happening especially since students had been warned about this issue.

I did learn that it was NOT just Principal Howard and the Garfield security officer at the scene. There were several other SPD officers on the scene as well.

Anonymous said...

Melissa,

Officer Bennie Radford isn't a Garfield security officer. He is a fully commissioned Seattle Police Department Officer who is the only officer assigned to be a School Resource Officer in the City. Garfield also has Seattle School District Campus Secuirty, but they are not law enforcement officers. It would be great if the City and District could partner to have a SRO program, Officer Radford is a huge benifit to the Garfield community and I know that staff at other high schools would love to have an SRO.

-IMHO

joanna said...

It does seem like this would be a good case for the Restorative Justice program. Even if it did occur off of school property, I think throwing eggs at someone and intimidating them is assault. It is illegal to invite someone to your home and attack them. It is an extension of their role as Garfield students. I am not a lawyer. I believe that assault is illegal even if the victim volunteers. Restorative Justice will work only if the victim/s can participate.

Stu said...

Garfield, the jewel of Seattle! If these are the kids who are on track to run the casinos junking up our retirements on wall street, outsourcing our manufacturing businesses to death trap slave shops, making sure our Big Energy are never accountable ...

WhatMeWorry?


Why is it always about position, money, big energy, politics, color . . . everything except what happened?

There are very clear rules that each Garfield student knows and, if someone breaks those rules, there are repercussions. It's really that simple. No one's saying these are "bad kids" or losers or that "justice is for sale" or any nonsense like that. If you apply the rules evenly, everyone knows what's expected.

At our bus stop this morning, by the way, there were some discussions about this whole mess and someone brought up that, just this past week, three high school students, from an exclusive private school here in Seattle, were expelled -- not suspended -- for breaking the alcohol/drug rules.

- stu

Melissa Westbrook said...

I misspoke on the wording - yes, the "security" person is School Resource officer and a full SPD officer. (And yes, I have long advocated for SRO for all high schools; Roosevelt misses Officer Kip.)

Good points, Stu.

RosieReader said...

The fact that it happened off site and even in private homes doesn't change a thing, any more than the fact that your supervisor might call you after hours and at home to proposition you for sex wouldn't change the fact that you're suffering workplace harassment. Or the fact that a coworker starts bullying you on your FB page.

If the actions are the result of the work/school relationship, and are, or are likely to, impact the work/school relationship, then they are within the reach of the workplace/school.

Anonymous said...

Why is it always about position, money, big energy, politics, color . . . everything except what happened?

@Stu: You've been around awhile. You know why. Don't feed the trolls.

WSDWG

Anonymous said...

I agree that students involved should be removed from the school while it is investigated. However I don't think they should be out of school completely. Couldn't they have an suspension at an inter-agency school or some where they could continue to keep up on with their classes? They may not graduate if they miss so much school. Even if you think that is a just consequence, it seems premature if the investigation is ongoing.

-High school parent

Anonymous said...

OPINION: It is my understanding that this behavior has been going on at Garfield for years, if not decades, with the administration and most parents turning a blind eye.

Is it wrong? Harmful to all involved? Illegal in some ways? Completely stupid? Yes to all of the aforementioned.

However, since this appears to be the first time Garfield has come down hard on this conduct (someone correct me if I am wrong), I do not believe this batch of students should bear the full brunt of the repercussions. Punish them yes. Restrict access to clubs, after-school activities, sports, put a note in their permanent record, do everything possible short of expulsion. But don't destroy their lives for a youthful indiscretion that has been condoned, and honored by some, by Garfield's culture.

Change the culture. Get all parents on board. Send out reminders every time the opportunity for this type of behavior comes up (Homecoming et al.). But let's stop patting ourselves on the back for severely punishing these kids who were operating under the culture that Garfield has condoned (even if that condoning was done by looking the other way).

Just my two cents, have no kids at Garfield nor have I ever. My daughter went private for HS and did see kids expelled (it happened a couple of times over the years and the kids had seen that as a consequence).

SolvayGirl

Melissa Westbrook said...

Please read what is written - they ARE being allowed to keep up with their studies on-line.

RosieReader said...

I don't think a couple of weeks expulsion is going to "destroy their lives," to quote Solvay Girl. I suspect it will feel like it to them, but I suspect that if punishment was just being removed from a beloved team or sport, it would also feel like the end of the world. That's just the way the teenagers I know and love take things. With great drama.

That said, many of us, myself included, can think of things that happened to us in high school that we would have claimed, at the time, had destroyed our lives. And with the wisdom of the years, we realize that was quite the exaggeration.

If it sidelines you into Yale, then maybe you'll go to Boise State where you meet the woman who turns out to be the inventor of the next big thing, and who insists that you serve as her COO.

Jet City mom said...

When I was in school, being suspended meant that you were not a student temporarily, so getting work to cover that time was out of the question.

As access to computers & the internet is often brought up as an example of " privilege" and to illustrate the contrast of the haves & have- nots in the district, the assumption that everyone has identical access to technology is confusing.
Is it because most of the students involved were white?

Anonymous said...

@RosieReader: I have not seen anything that says these expulsions last only two weeks—or are necessarily temporary in any way. Two weeks off without "pay" is suspension. Expulsion means to get rid of. These kids could end up having to be homeschool, in another District (if they are lucky) or at InterAgency—all of which could derail whatever plans they had for higher education. This is especially true for Seniors.

And who said anything about YALE? We've seen no evidence that these kids were on the Yale, or any other ivy league, track.

My point was that Garfield has not come down this hard on "froshers" in the past. If they really want to start doing that, great, but there needed to be a LOT of "this is no longer our culture" talk before this happened. I know a number of Garfield parents who felt the froshing was ok, built community, etc. Obviously they might not have known exactly what went on at these events, but they did little to keep their own kids from participating regardless.

As I said above, make the culture change now, but don't prohibit these seniors from following through with their post-high school plans because they got caught. From the things I have heard, conjecture leads me to believe that plent of other kids participated in froshing this year and in the past.

SolvayGirl

Mary Griffin said...

From Ann Dornfeld at KUO:

"Wippel said Garfield has a long-standing hazing tradition, something the district wants to end. "We are working with University of Washington and Seattle University to work with the culture of the school, with students, parents and teachers, to figure out how to reduce or eliminate hazing just because the nature of this latest incident was pretty — was pretty big."

Garfield Principal Ted Howard discovered the party after he got an anonymous text message believed to be from a student.

He showed up at the hazing event with police and said students threw eggs at him and called him the N-word.

All but one of the students who have been barred from school are white, Wippel said."

From Jodei McVittie of Sound Discipline on a discipline listserv, "What happens NEXT is really the critical piece. The newspaper says that “punishments” will be determined. That is an unfortunate choice of words and may not be directly from the district or school. In our culture unfortunately we use hurting others (punishment) as our main “teaching” tool when people make mistakes.

There is huge opportunity here. All solutions are “consequences” but not all consequences are solutions. Solutions are something that happen after the fact (like a consequence) but instead of being aimed at teaching by hurting they are reasonable, related, respectful and HELPFUL. They work toward the good of those involved and toward the common good. For example, the students could be asked to participate in a semester long workshop that builds skills and results in an assembly that they produce on why hazing is hurtful and/or develop a system within the school that prevents hazing in the future. Putting them in charge of the solution would be an incredible way of solving the problem while maintaining dignity and offering them a way to contribute to the greater good. Another solution could be one or more restorative justice circles. There are many possibilities."

Anonymous said...

"Jet City mom said...
When I was in school, being suspended meant that you were not a student temporarily, so getting work to cover that time was out of the question.
As access to computers & the internet is often brought up as an example of " privilege" and to illustrate the contrast of the haves & have- nots in the district, the assumption that everyone has identical access to technology is confusing.
Is it because most of the students involved were white? 10/8/13, 1:54 PM"

?? Garfield is a high school. ALL teenagers DO have access to a public library, to a free computer and internet service. Myself, I don't think of going to a public library as a "privilege". I can't even tell if you are being rhetorical or not, but, I take the comments are face value, that you are serious about raising concerns about 'equity' even if you did not use that particular word. Only, it is not even clear which 'equity' point you are aiming at.


Oh Well

Anonymous said...

IMHO and RosieReader, thanks for the explanations for why something that happened offsite/out of school hours would still be a school issue. That will help me explain it to my child.

SolvayGirl,

We've been a Garfield family for a few years now. As a parent new to the school and new to SPS when my student was a freshman, I certainly knew from the get-go that froshing WAS NOT allowed, that it was taken very seriously, and that there would be consequences. That very first year there were Garfield students who were seen in West Seattle (Lincoln Park, maybe?) drinking and froshing -- I think it was even discussed here; if not, it was for sure talked about on the WS blog. I do not remember hearing about suspensions or expulsions these last couple of years, but my student knows of at least one student who underwent the same type of emergency expulsion (and who ended up back in school, FWIW). I just think no other instances have led to the media and community attention that this incident has, which may be why it seems like a new problem.

~Garfield Mom

Anonymous said...

Beat somebody into critical condition, steal their belongings, car, or burglarize their house as a teen, and your record gets sealed by the Juvenile Court system at 18.

Paddle a consenting student in a diaper, and get a scarlet letter on your transcript that lasts forever and will very likely change the course of your life.

In one case we're sealing records of horrible, violent crimes so a kid gets a second chance after multiple juvenile crimes. In another, we're placing a scarlet letter on a college bound kid for just the opposite reason, so they're labeled for life and youthful, juvenile indiscretions will dog them for life.

Is froshing worse than burglary or assault?

I believe in appropriate punishment, but not labeling kids for life based on juvenile acts. If second chances are good enough for murderers, killers, burglars and thugs, why isn't it good enough for college bound kids?

From a criminal justice view, the state of minds are vastly different. But there seems to be a blood lust for those college-bound kids which is isn't shared for the average street thugs who beat people to death.

WSDWG

Anonymous said...

There are four different legal removals from school in WA:

Short term suspension - a disciplinary action for up to ten days. Appeal rights start with an informal conference with the principal and continue to a written appeal to the board. Student are not allowed on campus during the suspension or to make up missed work. There are specific limits on number of days of short term suspension per semester that can be assigned, depending on age of student.

Long term suspension - a disciplinary action that is for ten or more days. Cannot impact grades beyond one semester. Hence the very common long term suspension until the end of the semester. Appeal rights start with a hearing before a hearing officer, then to a board appointed disciplinary council (SPS uses this) or the board. Kids in fourth grade or lower can't be long term suspended. Students cannot be on campus or make up work. If space is available , in SPS they can attend Reentry through interagency and get credits for work done there while suspended from the home school.

Expulsion - disciplinary action that is a complete removal from school for a year or forever. Appeal rights start with a hearing before a hearing officer, then to a board appointed disciplinary council (SPS uses this) or the board. Student can also apply for readmission at a later date. There is an automatic one calendar year explusionn for having a gun on campus. If space is available , in SPS they can attend Reentry through interagency and get credits for work done there while suspended from the home school. There is also an online program they may be sent to if there are safety concerns that the student cannot be at Reentry. Otherwise can't be on campus or make up work.

Emergency expulsion - NOT a disciplinary action, considered a safety measure. There is a quicker right to an appeal, which is again before a hearing officer than the disciplinary appeal council. Student can't be on campus, but can submit work while out. A student who is out on an EE pending completion of an investigation may end up suspended or expelled as a disciplinary measure after the investigation is over. If they are disciplined, they get the discipline appeal rights set out above.

-IMHO

RosieReader said...

Shame on any parents who thought that this sort of behavior was okay.

My reaction to SolvayGirl's point that this group shouldn't be punished strongly because her contacts there have told her that the school hasn't come down hard on froshing in the past is to first wonder whether that's true. Because I, too, remember the incident from a few years back in West Seattle. And second, to suggest that we all read this recent New Yorker article. http://nymag.com/news/features/ethical-parenting-2013-10/ , the basic point of which is that many, many, many of us regularly justify cutting ethical corners for the benefit of our kids. So it wouldn't surprise me that parents would react with "okay, maybe froshing is bad but don't punish these kids, punish the next batch, because my kids weren't adequately warned."

dw said...

Jet City Mom said: I was suspended for three days in high school, after a sweep of the " smoking bathroom" & I never went back because after missing class for three days, I would never have been able to catch up.

Please! Unless I'm misunderstanding what you're saying, this is preposterous, and I hope you've reconsidered this stance as an adult. Kids get sick for more than 3 days all the time. Kids take field trips where they miss more than 3 days of school as well. It's a pain in the ass to catch up, but they manage. 10 days is certainly a much bigger deal, if that's what actually happens at GHS, but it sounds like the kids will at least have some opportunity to do classwork outside the building. However...

Melissa said: according to the article, will be able to access their schoolwork online

What does this even mean? It sounds like it will be better than nothing, but so much of what happens is in the classroom, I'm not sure how much this makes sense. LA/SS classes have meaty discussions, material is presented by the teachers, often classwork that's expected to happen in the classroom, during class is part of the kids' grades. Science classes have labs and/or materials that are not going to be available to the kids outside of school. I'm truly confused by what this means, unless it's just access to the Source so they can check on written assignments, but that should be assumed. However, remember, use of the Source is optional, not all teachers use it, and even if they do, there's no guarantee it's timely or up to date. Not getting this.

Anonymous said...

WSDWG, you're conflating two separate things-criminal behavior, which is tried is courts of law, and SCHOOL-related behavior, for which the school has every right to suspend, expel, etc. That it may ALSO be criminal behavior is a possibility, but court systems and school systems are completely different entities which may or may not work together when it comes to teen crime. It's also possible that some of these students are over 18, which would not result in sealed records.

And as we all know by now, this was more than paddling a few kids in diapers. We know that at least some students now and in the past have felt coerced into being hit/painted/forced to drink. We know that there's been underage drinking to such excess that kids have become ill. We know that car accidents were caused. We know from the police that in the past those who where froshed would not come forward to press charges in fear of retaliation, which is probably why the kids were emergency expelled.

You've come very close, more than once, IMO, to defending these kids because it's not "bad" enough activity. What kind of punishment is ok with you?

Sad Mom

Mary Griffin said...

I think instead of using the word punishment, we might think of the word discipline, the root word of which means to teach.

I think the best way to look at this is what sorts of actions will help these kids to learn that this behavior is harmful and dangerous, and what steps can be taken to prevent other kids from engaging in this type of behavior.

dw said...

One other note. According to kids in the school, word on the street is that the kids who were caught and expelled were not necessarily the kids who were the main perpetrators. The "bad kids" were able to run away quickly enough to escape getting caught.

I can't claim to know the truth in this matter as I wasn't there, but it seems perfectly reasonable. It's common in football games to see the guy that throws the retaliatory punch get caught and kicked out of the game while the instigator walks away laughing.

Anonymous said...

DW,

Then the kids who know who "the bad kids" are should report that to admin. Simple solution to concerns about equity among the perpetrators.

-IMHO

Anonymous said...

Good point, DW. And probably true. The experienced bad guys seem to know how to ditch before they get caught.

@Sad Mom: I compared and contrasted. I did not conflate.

I don't share the "hit them harder than ever" philosophy of juvenile punishment, because it interferes with teachable moments and real opportunities to change attitudes about hazing and its consequences. It's that simple.

WSDWG

Melissa Westbrook said...

I think Mary has hit the right tone.

Make these students convince OTHER students why what they did was wrong. How it could have had terrible consequences. Etc. The video is a GREAT idea.

(That said, I would also not allow them to be in a club or team until the video is finished.)

"Paddle a consenting student in a diaper, and get a scarlet letter on your transcript that lasts forever and will very likely change the course of your life."

C'mon. A high school transcript does not follow you around. And, any college or university that saw that notation and saw that the student had done community service and had great grades and letters of recommendation -that college or university would say,"They did something dumb that did NOT turn out badly and paid the price. And learned from it. We want a kid like that."

dw said...

IMHO said: Then the kids who know who "the bad kids" are should report that to admin. Simple solution to concerns about equity among the perpetrators.

Good luck getting that to happen, the kids aren't going to rat each other out, let alone in a public manner, and you could never allow it to be secret.

Even someone did want to do that, it would be nothing more than hearsay without uninvolved eyewitnesses. No one is going to get expelled from high school based on unsubstantiated reports or rumors.

mirmac1 said...

Interesting. Now the district is using "banned" to describe the whatever these students are on....

This shows the ignorance the majority of administrators in this district display when it comes to definitions and responses to discipline. Is it any wonder the Feds are investigating SPS' record?

BTW, I take the posts noting how could students/parents know that, this time, the district/school was going to "mean it" about no hazing? In my simplistic comparison, I think about the tragedy of date-rape and how students/athletes/whomever perfectly are justified in not expecting that police and school officials might actually enforce rape laws...

Jet City mom said...

*Please! Unless I'm misunderstanding what you're saying, this is preposterous, and I hope you've reconsidered this stance as an adult. Kids get sick for more than 3 days all the time. Kids take field trips where they miss more than 3 days of school *

If you read all my post, you will see that being suspended means " not a student" , and unable to access work.
Missing three days of assignments may be accommodated for incase of illness, but not in the case of suspension.
In the early '70's which was when. I was in high school, students did not take field trips for 3days or more.
If I had been able to easily make up the work, why would i have felt pressured to drop out of school?

Jet City mom said...

*Please! Unless I'm misunderstanding what you're saying, this is preposterous, and I hope you've reconsidered this stance as an adult. Kids get sick for more than 3 days all the time. Kids take field trips where they miss more than 3 days of school *

If you read all my post, you will see that being suspended means " not a student" , and unable to access work.
Missing three days of assignments may be accommodated for incase of illness, but not in the case of suspension.
In the early '70's which was when. I was in high school, students did not take field trips for 3days or more.
If I had been able to easily make up the work, why would i have felt pressured to drop out of school?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
NW mom said...

reposting for Anon at 6:25 - (pls include a moniker or your post will be deleted):

To Solvay Girl,
"My point was that Garfield has not come down this hard on "froshers" in the past. If they really want to start doing that, great, but there needed to be a LOT of "this is no longer our culture" talk before this happened. I know a number of Garfield parents who felt the froshing was ok..."

FYI - two years ago a freshman was taken to the 520 off-ramp-to-nowhere at the north end of the arboretum, forced to drink hard alchohol and jump off the bridge. Sometime later, a car dumped the kid at the er entrance to Harborview. Officer Benny heard about it at school, went to Harborview and tried to get the kid's name but was refused. He later saw me in the hall and asked if he could ask my child to help him identify the kid. Officer Benny wanted to try to get the freshman to identify the upperclassmen.

People die of alchohol poisoning. RUMOR has it, there was hard alchohol at the arboretum this year as well. There is no excuse NOT to come down hard on these kids for that. It was only two years ago that a kid nearly died. Just because it doesn't make the paper does not mean it isn't happening.

Anonymous said...

Remove the alcohol from the equation and this issue becomes exponentially more manageable. I think the nonchalance toward alcohol shown by some teens is the key issue we should focus on, as most of the dangers and excesses we've heard about occurred at the kegger, where hard alcohol was also present. Alcohol fueled violence: Who'd have imagined?

WSDWG

Anonymous said...

My kid is a senior at Garfield. Each and every year, before and during the spirit weeks, we've received emails AND phone messages about hazing, and those messages stated clearly that is is prohibited. It is also covered in the student handbook. That does not mean that everyone agrees. There are always those who believe that rules and laws only apply to other people. The only way to get it to stop and eliminate the chance of a student's death is to enforce the consequences. There is an excellent reason for the suspension, and that is "Snitches get stitches."

Garfield Mom of 12th grader

Anonymous said...

"Even someone did want to do that, it would be nothing more than hearsay without uninvolved eyewitnesses. No one is going to get expelled from high school based on unsubstantiated reports or rumors."

Actually, if those "good kids" that got caught personally saw the "bad kids," they are eyewitnesses. It isn't hearsay, it is witness testimony. Hearsay would be repeating statements made by another, which sometimes is admissible in criminal court and can always be considered in disciplinary hearings. But SPS isn't event here yet, they are investigating, So, all they need is someone to come forward to identify ALL perpetrators. Until then, your arbitrary definitions as to who is "good" and who is "bad" is the worst kind of stereotyping and allows kids to avoid the consequences of their actions by blaming mysterious unisentified "bad" kids. Kind of reminds me of I may be a Nazi, but you didn't catch the SS and they are really the bad ones.

-IMHO



Melissa Westbrook said...

What is troubling - as usual - how did the students get hard liquor and kegs of beer?

Melissa Westbrook said...

What is troubling - as usual - how did the students get hard liquor and kegs of beer?

Anonymous said...

And the WAC also allows schools to take statements from witnesses and not call them at a discipline hearing if the school can identify that there is reason to fear retaliation against the student witness.

-IMHO

Anonymous said...

Melissa,

My bet is older siblings/friends continuing this "beloved" Garfield tradition by supplying "their" freshman now junior or senior with the alcohol. Same way the fraternity system has funded keggers for years,

-IMHO

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Anonymous said...

I think this is the post that Rosie Reader mentioned:
http://westseattleblog.com/2011/10/teachers-disturbing-discovery-in-west-seattle-park-hazing/

--OldSchoolMusic